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What do people do with test presses?

Test your press  

107 members have voted

  1. 1. How many test presses do you own?

    • 0
      23
    • 1-5
      47
    • 6-20
      25
    • 20+
      12
  2. 2. Why do you buy test presses?

    • Because they're cool
      29
    • Because I really really like the music
      32
    • Gotta show my hipster status
      11
    • I don't know
      33
    • I got it for free
      2


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I'm just starting to buy test presses for music I really like. But, in all honesty, I don't really know what's the point to them. From my understanding, labels use them for quality checks to make sure everything sounds fine before sending off a large order to the pressing plant. So, they're basically just a black pressing of whatever record. I'm curious to know for what reason they're appealing to other people. 


I've rarely (if never) seen any posts with a poll, so I thought why not try using one. I can only add 2 questions to the poll though, so a couple other questions I have are:

1. Do people play test presses?

2. How much would you pay for a test press?

Edited by ghost

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I probably have about 20. No people don't play them. Even the labels don't play most of them at this point. Back when less people collected vinyl labels would press 5-10 to actually listen to a check the sound. Now labels are pressing 20 so they can sell them later as collector's items. How much one would pay depends on the person and the test. You could also ask why people have multiple variants of the same record.

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2 minutes ago, Bladewillisisdead said:

I have one test press and I've played it numerous times. It's for the only album I have a complete variant set of, so when the label put a test on eBay I was determined to win it.

Interesting that you play it. Why play the test rather than one of the more common variants? I generally play the more common variants because I'd rather keep the rare stuff in better condition and not risk scratching it or something.

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I have maybe 15-20. Most are of albums I really love. I’ve probably had played them all at least once (to make sure it’s actually what it claims to be), but in most of those cases, I have a regular vinyl press I would be more likely to play. A few are of albums I like OK, but picked them up cheap/around the price of the regular pressing, in which case I play the test press when I want to listen to the album, since I don’t have any other version. 

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3 minutes ago, shenanigans said:

Interesting that you play it. Why play the test rather than one of the more common variants? I generally play the more common variants because I'd rather keep the rare stuff in better condition and not risk scratching it or something.

I play all of my records, even when I have multiple variants of something. It's my way of sort of justifying having them. I'm not gonna damage the test press by playing it, unless there's some freak accident as I'm handling it. Never going to sell it, so I might as well enjoy having it. 

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I only have 1 TP. It's a former band of a couple of my friends from back home (RIP KarbomB). It's a "Fest Press" out of 25. The # is a little high, but considering there are 2 bands and a label involved, not too bad. My little brother picked it up for me at Fest, and wouldn't let me pay him. It's also one, the first by months, of 3 versions of the record. I played it a couple of times. 

I'd never pay more than $75 for a TP, AND ONLY THAT MUCH FOR A BAND I TRULY LOVE. Like Against me! or Coheed. If I grabbed one of those band's TPs, I probably would not play it.

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I have two tests, one because it was actually cheaper than buying the other variants somehow, and one because it was at Goodwill, I had no idea what it was, but the lable that produced it had put out some good stuff. Spoiler alert: it was none of the good stuff.

 

I play the one I bought occasionally since it's the only copy of that record that I have.

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I've got about 40 test pressings or more .. mostly from Hot Water Music and related bands or artists .. one copy "The Black Cadence - La Reine d'Alcool" never came out as a regular release. So from this 12" EP only 20 TPs exist.

Others were remastered but never released, because the band changed the label in the meantime.

And I've got a TP from the Rumbleseat LP with a different cover than the regular release, only one copy worldwide .. btw  .. that was the most expensiv TP I ever bought [See below]. 
As I collect everything from HWM, I try to own every copy of their releases with different covers (labels, art ...), but not every vinyl color .. maybe some rare colors (1 to 30 copies made)

... and yes .. I play them ...

27625407_987137028128027_779097851015770

Edited by phelansegur

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Is this the first poll on VC? I've never seen that questionmark icon before.

 

I've got around 30. I mostly buy them for albums I absolutely adore. Some I got because they were cheap. I listen to most, though I've got a sealed More Betterness test and I'm never opening that one ever. Ever.

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I own one. And it was simply by chance. I found out it a thrift store. I've never played it nor do I feel compelled to. Honestly I don't really know why I won't play it. Maybe because of its rarity or simply because I own the regular copy. And I prolly would buy test copies from a band that I truly love. That Misfits Walk Among Us reissue would've been a pretty neat TP to own. The only thing stopping me from buying TPs are the prices. Bands that I like are bands that other people like too.

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i have a TP of the one record i have released, and obviously only got that for QC purposes. so of course they have a use on the record-producing side. but i can't see collecting them. though collecting would probably make sense for someone whose collection is in part a business/pursuit of valuable objects (not sure what to attribute their value to other than the scarcity/peculiarity of a test pressing.). 

can't imagine buying TPs even of my most favorite albums, more or less because i buy records in part for the artwork/color options.  TPs usually have no proper jacket, usually generic paper labels... would always rather have a retail version.

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@shenanigans I second your sad face, but Dave and Nick are in a good new band called Shoplifter. It's pretty enjoyable. Pretty sure Rory and Jay will always put out music too. Maybe Jay can get guFF back together? (I'd fly out to that show wherever it was).

Anyway, I consider test presses as little meaningful collectibles, kinda like how some adult people collect toys.

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I only recently started going for test presses. I went for the Year of the Snitch test press because I'm a complete avant teen bitch when it comes to DG and I snagged a blank banshee test press because they were actually cheaper than the regular versions so I figured why not, props to Hologram Bay for that.

Of course, they emailed me a month later letting me know my order wouldn't be fulfilled because they made a mistake calculating stock, so they offered me some other limited Blank Banshee merch that isn't out yet, so I bought the same test press for $60 on ebay and I'll recoup that flipping the limited shit I don't actually want.

 

And the only time I can think to play a test press would be for ripping purposes, one time only deal.

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The old Insound gave me a free Kimbra test pressing as part of a contest like 6+ years ago and then I've gotten maybe 4-5 more test pressings from Topshelf as freebies for their label sub. The Native Sound sent me a few 7" test pressings as part of the box deals they were doing recently. Only test presses I've actually paid direct money for are the ETR Ozma test pressing bundles and only cause I love Ozma and I dig the alternate covers that were included. Otherwise, I'd never spend $60+ on a test pressing as part of a label vault sale or whatever.

Edited by swb

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27 minutes ago, Fowty Dollaz said:

@shenanigans I second your sad face, but Dave and Nick are in a good new band called Shoplifter. It's pretty enjoyable. Pretty sure Rory and Jay will always put out music too. Maybe Jay can get guFF back together? (I'd fly out to that show wherever it was).

Anyway, I consider test presses as little meaningful collectibles, kinda like how some adult people collect toys.

Unfortunately I think Ash is long beyond that point in his life and even Charley isn't making music now. :(

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3 hours ago, mike said:

Sealed? I’ve never heard of a test press being shrink wrapped. 

Not shrink wrapped, but in a sealed poly bag with a tearaway edge. That's how Fat receives (or received back then) all tests, not sure if it's per their request or just standard procedure for whichever plant does them. I only found a pic of the Short Music one on my PC, but here's what it looks like:

 

9ow95zR.jpg

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